Difference Between Window AC And Split AC – Which One Is Better?

With summer right around the corner, all of you will be running to appliance stores in search of a new air conditioner. But it is only when we get there that we understand that there are different ACs, the most common ones being a window AC and a split AC.

We would suggest that you get a better understanding of these two types of AC so that you would not spend money on the wrong product. So, in this article, we will give you a brief understanding of window ACs and split ACs, their differences, and things to consider before purchasing an air conditioner.


What Is A Window AC?

Window Ac

As the name suggests, this AC is installed into a window space, but the area should be big enough to hold it as the AC is a bit big and bulky. It has a condenser, compressor, expansion valve, evaporator, etc., fitted into one unit. Window AC comes in portable sizes so they can be easily transported.


  • It is comparatively cheaper than a split AC.
  • It is easy to install and requires low maintenance.


  • Finding an apt place for a window AC will be a bit difficult.
  • It does not have a very aesthetic look.
  • Window ACs are not energy efficient when uninstalled in large homes.


What Is A Split AC?

Split AC

A split AC is a wall-mounted AC with two units, one placed outdoors and the other inside. The outdoor unit (ODU) consists of a compressor, expansion valve, and condenser, while the indoor unit (IDU) has an evaporative system.

The unit kept inside the room takes in the warm air and gives out the cold air. Simultaneously, the warm air taken in passes through the drain pipes to the compressor found in the external unit. This unit releases the warm air into the outside atmosphere.


  • It is silent compared to window ACs.
  • Possible to accommodate it in rooms without windows.
  • Less space is required for installation since one unit is placed outside.
  • It might have a low operating cost if it runs on inverter technology.
  • Its attractiveness is one of the main reasons why it is preferred in most modern homes.


  • A split AC is more costly than a window AC.
  • You need professional help for installing a split AC.
  • More maintenance and after-sales services are required.


6 Difference Between A Window AC And Split AC

1. Energy Consumption And Efficiency

Energy Consumption

It is not possible to compare the energy consumption of a window AC and a split AC if it has similar rated units because similar rated units consume the same amount of energy. So, to know how much power your AC consumes, may it be window AC or split AC, we need to check the unit’s Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER).

What is EER? It is the rating given to an AC unit by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and the energy performance is rated from one star to five stars. Higher the rating, the more efficient it is. So, if an AC has 5-stars, it is extremely energy efficient, while a 1-star AC is the least efficient.

Another thing related to the efficiency of an AC unit is if it runs on Inverter technology. With inverter technology, we can control the motor’s speed without turning it off; this indirectly controls the room temperature and your electricity bill.

However, there aren’t a lot of window ACs with a 5-star rating, nor do most of them run on inverter technology. So, this means that you will have better chances of finding an energy-efficient AC in the split AC section.


2. Cooling Capacity

Cooling Capacity

The cooling capacity of an AC is based on its tonnage. Split AC has two units, i.e., the second unit is kept outside the room, so it has proper ventilation. It has less load on the compressor as it enables a better extraction and release of the heat present in the room. This cools the room quicker and consumes less electricity.

Also, split ACs were invented to compensate for the shortcomings in a window AC. So, in general, a split AC is supposed to have better cooling performance than a window AC.


3. Design, Installation, And Space Requirement

Design, Installation, And Space Requirement

A window AC is designed as one cuboidal, compact portable box consisting of a condenser, compressor, expansion valve, evaporator, and so on. Compared to a split AC, this one is installed in the window space, which requires more space. Also, you might have to go through that extra effort to find a wall and proper window space to fit it in. However, the installation is more manageable and does not require any additional charges.

A split AC is designed as two separate AC units; the outdoor unit (ODU) consists of a compressor, expansion valve, and a condenser, while the indoor unit (IDU) has an evaporative system.

It is a bit more complicated to install a split AC as it has two units, but it requires less space within the house as one unit is outside. So, this offers some degree of flexibility. For installation, you will need professional help to mount the plate on the wall, drill holes for the pipe, and so on. Also, split AC requires more maintenance and regular servicing.


4. Noise Level

Even when a window AC is not operating on a high load, it tends to be extremely loud than a split AC, which is usually silent. The reason for this is the placement of the compressor. Since the compressor is placed inside the house for the window AC, it is more noise. The compressor is part of the outdoor unit in a split AC, thus making it the quieter among the two.

The noise range of a split AC is 20 to 35 dB, while it is 40 to 60 dB for a window AC. So, you can imagine how disturbing a window AC would be. Also, just like the AC is more energy efficient with inverter technology, the noise level also considerably reduces in an inverter technology AC.


5. Maintenance And After-Sales Service

Maintenance And After-Sales Service

As mentioned above, split AC has two compartments, requiring more maintenance, so after-sale services should be done regularly to achieve maximum performance. In comparison, a window AC will have a lower maintenance cost and is easier to provide service. This could also be the reason why it is preferred by people who live in a temporary place.


6. Price


A split AC is priced higher than a window AC; because of this, most people prefer the latter. However, this is a one-time investment or at least one that should last for a few years. So, I would suggest buying a good quality AC even though it is a bit expensive because you do not even want to keep spending more money on services or even a new AC.


5. Things To Consider Before Purchase Air Conditioner

1. Room Size

Room Size

If your room is spacious, then more power will be used to cool the room down, which will increase your electricity bill. So, while buying, make sure you choose one according to the size of your room.


2. Heat Level

The level of cooling depends on the heat present within the place you stay. So, if you stay in a hot place, choose one with higher cooling performance.


3. The Number Of People In The Room

We emit a certain amount of heat, even though it is not very significant, the AC needs to cool this down. So, it takes a longer time for the AC to cool the room if there are many people.


4. Type Of Lights

Types Of Lights

Most people don’t know this, but even the light in the room affects the heat level. LED lights radiate less heat than traditional lights.


5. Ventilation

First of all, do not leave your window open when the AC is on since it will not cool effectively. But even if you shut the windows, some amount of air will pass through them. You can consider insulating the windows, but most of us do not prefer this.


Your Takeaway

Both window AC and split AC have their pros and cons, and before purchase, the features mentioned above should be considered. Split AC is better than window AC because it is energy efficient, not noisy, and has good cooling performance. It also has a better lifespan if maintained well. However, window ACs are cheaper and can be easily installed. Also, it is portable, so if you are staying in a rented place, this could be a good option for you.

Let us know your thoughts on window ACs and split ACs in the comment section below.

Founder at Best Indian | Website | + posts

I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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